Canada isn’t crossing any T’s or dotting any I’s on legalizing marijuana quite yet. According to CBC News, the government recently deployed a task force to investigate best way to plan and execute legalization of marijuana. Legalization was one of the liberal promises made by the young and popular Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Right now the legalization movement is in nothing more than a preliminary research phase.
However, legislation is expected any moment. The task force has been working and creating a plan since November of last year. They recently stated legislation would be announced April 20. In the article on CBC News, many questions are answered.
Some of the questions missing from CBC include concerns regarding addiction, increased substance abuse, and mental health. Canada has led the way on the medical use of marijuana and progressive treatments for illnesses. Currently, Canada is struggling to keep up with addiction and alcoholism issues. Marijuana has many medical properties, but it is still a psychoactive drug which produces mind altering effects. Though research has found that alcohol is more of a “gateway” drug than marijuana is, the use of marijuana can inspire experimentation. Problematically, legalized marijuana will mean it is available in investment-backed and government regulated strengths, which can be incredibly potent. Abuse and misuse of marijuana is a concern.
The Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders added “marijuana use disorder” to the category of substance use disorders, which is the list of diagnosable addictions. Previously, marijuana wasn’t thought to be dependency forming or addictive. Despite a growing medicalization and legalization movement, there is a growing amount of people becoming dependent upon the drug. Marijuana can cause an intense physical and psychological dependency in which people are unable to function, eat, or sleep, without use of the drug. Without it, they experience symptoms of withdrawal which includes obsessive thinking, compulsive cravings, and many effects similar to withdrawal of other more “serious” drugs.
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